Platinum or Gold: How do you know your Social Media Marketer is legit?

Not long ago, I was working with three social media marketers on a small team of freelancers. We all lived on different continents, so it took me a while to place what made me uncomfortable. After a month had passed and we’d made no progress, I realized something. These people thought we had made progress. They were monitoring the metrics like they were controlling a personal page. These were social media users, not social media marketers.

What’s the difference?

A social media user is someone who uses personal social media. They tend to believe the same principles are applicable to branded social media. Users have the potential to become social media marketers, but there are some extra steps. It’s one thing to know how to use social media, and another thing to know how to market to other social media users. When they report metrics, users focus on what the people want for their personal pages: reach, impressions, and followers.

A social media marketer is a different creature. They use social media for personal use, but they’re also hyper-aware of what it means to be a marketer. I say hyper-aware because it’s easy to fall into the fall into the user trap. You don’t know what to track, so you choose to track volume over value. Remember that your job is to chase value. It doesn’t matter how many people see your SMM efforts if they aren’t inspired to action when they’re exposed to it.

Why Do I Care?

If your social person is a true social media marketer, they will take your company goals into account. The only time metrics like reach and followers matter on their own is if your only goal is awareness. You should still track them, but they shouldn’t be the sole measurement of your success. If your reach is increasing but your leads, conversions or engagement are going down, there’s a problem.

Your social media person may have a few thousand followers, and that’s valuable to them. That doesn’t mean their personal key metrics are valuable to you. Certain metrics won’t always lead to value for you. Make sure your social media marketer knows that too.

I want to hear your opinions, so please leave a comment! Feel free to check out my other articles on LinkedIn or my website.